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The Trae Waynes 5th Year Option

By: Tanishka Mhaskar
February 23rd, 2018
Photo: Alex Dorner

After much improvement during the second half of the season will the Vikings extend Trae Waynes contract to 2019? 

CB Trae Waynes came off of his best season this past year as there has been a huge difference between the 2017 season and his rookie year. When Waynes was chosen in the first round as the 11th overall pick there wasn't much surprise as that's what all of the mock drafts had projected. 

Waynes has had quite a journey since he became a Viking. He started his rookie year playing only special team snaps. Even though he climbed the ranks a bit in 2016 by starting 8 games, he had a rough year as he allowed touchdowns on multiple occasions and showed his lack of experience. Last season Waynes started all 16 games and finished with impressive stats: 57 solo tackles, 8 assisted tackles, 11 pass deflections, 2 interceptions and his first career sack. 

Since the young CB is a former first round pick, Minnesota has the option to add another year to Waynes' contract which would keep him under contract until 2019. The Vikings could've had a decision made by January 1st but the deadline is May 3rd and they are expected to make a decision around then. The young corner is expected to earn around $9 million which was calculated by averaging the salaries of the 3-25 highest paid NFL corners. Waynes could possibly even earn more and that's where the bargaining comes in.

Seeing the progression Waynes has made over the course of his career, it would be surprising if the Vikings didn't sign him as they have applied the 5th year option of 5 of the possible 7 players over the last 3 years. Another option for Minnesota would be to exercise the 5th year option now and decline it before the start of the 2018 season and not owe Waynes a single penny. They could then negotiate a long term deal with the corner, similar to what they did with CB Xavier Rhodes last offseason.

Because of Waynes stepping up this season, the Vikings defense's numbers have drastically gone down. It will be exciting to see what Minnesota decides to with the young CB.